About Me

When? Started: 1993 Who? Started with staff and friends from U H S, Chester. Organiser: Martyn Harris We walk every Wednesday and Saturdays, New Years day and May Day. How many walk? Walks take place as long as there are at least 2 wanting to walk on that day. More walk on a Wednesday than on a Saturday. Most ever: 29. Numbers walking: 2-12 in mid-week and 2-4 on Saturday. Where do we walk? Saturday: Anywhere in North and Mid-Wales, Peak District, Shropshire and the Long Mynd and as far North as the Trough of Bowland. Thursday: Anywhere within about 40 miles of Chester. Type of walk: Distance: 6 – 14 miles. Climb: up to 4000’ (but usually very much less!). Those involved in 2017:- Martyn Harris, Fran Murphy, Sue and Michel Pelissier, Annie Hammond, Sue and Dave Pearson, Mike Dodd, David and Anne Savage, Wend and Ian Peers, Celia de Mengle, Wendy and Ian Peers, Roger and Margaret Smith, Tim and Carol Dwyer, Paul Collinson, Phil Marsland, Sylvia and Dave Jenkins, Sheila McNee, Ed Meads, Elaine and John Greenhalgh, Jim McCabe, Mal Pulford, Nigel Taylor, Naomi Deynem

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Waun-y-Llyn Country Park, Hope Mountain and Wood Pitt 28th November 2018.

At the topograph in Waun-y-Llyn Country Park.
A "Tie Tree" - the first that I have ever seen!
Looking across the quarry toward Waun-y-Llyn.
At the trig point in Waun-y-Llyn Country Park - point where the wind was at its strongest.
or is Sue saying
 "Why am I here? 
Roger doesn't look that happy either!
The trig point on Hope Mountain - will I ever get there?
Good to see St. Michael's Church, Llanfynydd. is still being used.
The Southern entrance to Wood Pitt Nature Reserve.
Lunch along the old railway track in Wood Pitt Nature Reserve.
Rainbow over the Railway Inn  at Pontybodkin.
Walk stats: 5.0 miles. Climb: 1001'.
Time: 2 hours 55 minutes. On the move walking average; 2.3 m.p.h (2.6 m.p.h. on my newest GPS. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sue and Michel.
This wasn't a day where walking in warm sunshine was very likely., showers were the best we could expect, not cold (shorts temperatures really), but winds gusting to over 30 m.p.h. forecast.
 We set off towards Waun-y-Llyn Country Park with a sort of dampness in the air, but anything we could really call rain. However as we entered Waun-y-Llyn Country Park, it was now raining, enough to put rain drops on the lens of my camera which can't be removed satisfactorily even with appropriate it software!
 Crossing the ridge through Waun-y-Llyn Country Park, we should have had our best distant views, but today rain clouds got in the way. 
 Between Waun-y-Llyn Country Park  toposcope ant trig point we came across a tree adorned with several ties - was this a way that escaped classroom teachers celebrated not needing to ever wear a tie unless they actually wanted to do so?
 Although it wasn't too unpleasant, the persistent rain as the main reason why we decided to shorten the walk and one or two short cuts were taken.
 As we entered Wood Pitt Nature Reserve we anticipated having lunch back at the car, but part way along we located a suitable bench, just at it stopped raining. Happily we stopped to enjoy our lunch the great outdoors. Initially I sat in my short sleeve shirt, but after about 15 minutes I had to put my waterproof back on as it had started to rain again.
 As we arrived back at the car park at Coed-Talon/Pontybodkin a rainbow appeared over the Railway Inn, but this wasn't enough to encourage us to extend the walk further - refreshments at the Bridge Inn seemed a much better idea, especially we weknew it would have a real fire!
 Weetwood Best Bitter was the only real ale on offer, but went down well as we cooked around the fire.
 Not many birds seen or heard today, but those we did include: Goldfinch, House sparrow, Woodpigeon and Common blackbird.
  Checking my e-mails when I got home, good news  from David S, he has been given the go ahead to resume walking and hopes to join us on the walk next Wednesday.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

A Third Llanddulas Adventure 24th November 2018

Craig y Forwyn.
The stile south west of Cefn Castell that beat us - secateurs were not enough!
Just for Mike in memory of half an hour using a pair of secateurs.
Looking South from our lunch spot.
The limestone ridge East of Llysfaen.
Approaching Craig y Forwyn.
Looking East towards Cefn-y-Ogof.
On the path below  Craig y Forwyn.
Fallen leaves everywhere - here on the North Wales Path east of Llandduklas Quarry.
Walk stats: distance: 8.6 miles. Climb: 1333'.
Time: 4 hours 28 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Jim.
The weather today was somewhat overcast and distant views were never good.
 Nevertheless once leaving the coast it was never cold, in fact wearing Paramo gear wasn't really appropriate.
 Once again on this walk we encountered problems, first at Nant Gyd, where the route through Nant Gyd Farm wasn't easy to find, then a stile South west of Cefn Castell DEFEATED US (my secateurs weren't goof enough!) and this was after the unwelcome reception of two dogs as we went past the farm house. They weren't as bad a we retraced our steps!.
 In order to avoid many of our problems around farms today, we did a fair amount of rod walking.
 Lunch was taken South of Llysafen where a fallen tree provide a good seat for lunch. 
 as we approached Llysfaen, we enjoyed watching a farmer with two sheepdogs, and wondered why one one seemed to head off in the wrong direction. the farmer later informed us that he thought that this twelve year old dog didn't do what he was told to do, but chose to do what he thought he was supposed to do (but was often right!).
 As we descended below Craig-y- Forwyn there was a larger walking group but unfortunately we couldn't pass them, so our on the move walking speed dropped below the 2.5 m.p.h. recorded on the GPS at lunch time.
 Not many birds heard or seen today, but those we did included: Great cormorant, Oystercatcher, Common blackbird, Carrion crow and Woodpigeon.
  Overall a pleasant and enjoyable walk, but if repeated it would need to be adjusted to ensure that farms in the area were all avoided!
After walk drinks were enjoyed ast the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where the real fire had just been lit and the choice of real ciders was excellent - Black Dragon being the one that I enjoyed most.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Deborah's Well, Around Moel Findeg and Big Covert 21st November 2018.

Looking West towards the Clwydians on the path to Gwernymynydd.
Is this what they call a face off?
Moel Findeg ahead, but not or everyone!
A Raven in a tree a tree headed South of the path on East side of Burley Hill Quarry,
Our sheltered lunch spot South of Big Covert
 "I wonder how many minutes left for lunch?
The sermon today is taken from ,,,,,,".
Our path Northward through Big Covert.
Ration Book memories at Cholomendy concerning  Liverpool and WW2.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.9 miles. 1000' (a little more foe Mike who took the shorter route  over Moel Findeg).
Group: Martyn, Roger, Mike and Wendy.
The weather forecast wasn't very good, but in fact we it was much better than expected and it it was only after lunch that we had a little sleet ans dampness in the air.
 Distant views today were allows shrouded in mist, but where  we were was always OK.
 The first surprise we of the day was to find the information board at Deboroh' Well missing, presumably it will be returned once it has been restored
 Lunch was taken near the road on the South side of Big Covert, where a fallen tree trunk gave us the perfect perching places,
 after lunch was just a pleasant stroll through Big Covert and he joining the Clwydian Way back to Loggerheads.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Woodpigeon, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Common chaffinch, Wood nuthatch, Carrion crow, Raven Common blackbird and Common pheasant.
 The highlight of the day was seeing a Coal tit and soon after a Stoat crossed the field less than 20 metres in front of us.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn, real fires in charge, and Pheonix "Back Bee Porter" the best brew on offer.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Walks and Dates November 2018

Updated 16th November 2018.
Saturday 3rd November 2018
Mow Cop, Congleton Edge and More. 
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1100'.
Start: New start Point. Cheshire's Close lay-by on Congleton Road, Mow Cop. Grid ref: SJ8673058565
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk combines a walk from Carl Rogers's book "Circular Walks Along The Gritstone Trail" and part of a walk taken from the "Pathfinder Guide to Cheshire". This walk is a little shorter than the one that we did in 2008. Good views from the ridges.
Wednesday 7th November 2018.
The Sandstone Trail. Primrose Hill And Pale Heights.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:1260' .
Start: Gresty's  Waste car park on the A54. Grid re: SJ540686.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This is another walk on the Sandstone Trail.The main walk is a  route described in Carl Rogers's book "Circular Walks Along the Sandstone Trail". This includes the section as far as Fishersgreen and returns via Utkinton and Primrose Hill Wood.  We will start with the extension that includes a visit the viewpoint on Pale Heights before heading to The Yeld and King's Gate where we pick up the described route.
I n all proababilty we will probably take a few short cuts to reduce the mileage a little.
Saturday 10th November 2018.
The Ceiriog Trail East of Pontricket.
Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 1100'.
Start: The Pontricket Layby on the B4500 , about 3 miles South of Glyn Ceiriog. Grid ref: SJ186343.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
This is a variation of the walk we did in September, but includes much more of the Llwybr Ceiriog Trail and visits the Pen-y-Gwely Reservoir. We may also be able to explore paths that avoid having to descend the steep unpleasant bridleway from Cefn-y-braich-uchaf with its concrete enclosed drainage pipes.
Wednesday 14th November 2018.
Wepre Park, Aston Hill and Northop Hall.
Distance: 9.5 miles. Climb: 800'.
Start: Wepre Park, South of Wepre Drive, Connah's Quay. Grid ref: SJ295684.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk includes the four mile "Wepre" walk from the booklet "Rural Walks in Flintshire", but has been extended to explore the area around Northop Hall. The Wepre walk is described as a moderate walk and includes a wooded river valley and a ruined castle.
 The extension heads for Ewloe Green via Aston Hill on the way to Northop Hall. After exploring the countryside North of Northop Hall, it eventually rejoins the dismantled railway track shown on the original route that will leads us back to Wepre.
Saturday 17th November 2018.
Ramshaw Rocks and the Roaches.
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 1400’.
Start: Lay-by on West side of Hen Cloud, opposite the track to Windygates. Grid ref: SK006618.
Leave Chester at 08-00.
This walk allows us to explore Ramshaw Rocks seen so many times as we have walked over the Roaches. Ramshaw Rocks from a distance have always looked to be an interesting place in which to walk. This time Ramshaw Rocks will be our main objective with a North to South traverse of the Roaches a bonus towards the end of the walk. If time and legs permit, Hen Cloud may be included as an extension.
The route heads North and then North west leading to Well Farm. From Well Farm field paths are used to reach the Churnet Way near Naychurch. The Churnet Way is followed North over Ramshaw Rocks and then leaves the Churnet Way and heads North to visit Black Brook Nature Reserve, After a complete circuit of the Reserve the route drops down to the road South of Newstone Farm. The road is then followed North for about a mile before heading west across Goldstich Moss in to the Black Brook Valley. After crossing the brook on a footbridge the path then rises to Roach End. At Roaches End the main path over the Roaches is followed past the trig point and Doxy Pool back to the start.
Wednesday 21st November 2018.
Deborah's Well, Moel Findeg and Big Covert
Distance:7-8 miles. Climb: 1300'.
Start: Lay-by on the  Cadole to the Pantymwyn road. Grid ref: SJ205627. after passing the former Rainbow Inn (now a building site), take the next road on the right just before the newsagent. The lay-by is almost immediately on the right by the telephone kiosk.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "More Walks in the Clwydian Hills".  This is another chance to visit the summit of Moel Findeg with its fine views of the Northern Clwydians  and across the Cheshire plain to Peckforton and Beeston.  Hopefully we will make it as far as the ancient Deborah's well this time. We may even do it first this time, if we park in the Cadole lay-by.
Saturday 24th November 2018.
A Third Llandulas Adventure Revisited.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb: 1200'.
Start Llanddulas Beach Car Park at the end of Station Road/Beach Road. Grid ref: SH906786
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
The route from Llanddulas is essentially South along the Afon Dulas Valley, heading for Cefn Fran Farm.
Both times that we have completed ths walk, once in July 2015 and again in January 2018, we encountered difficulties locating the route through Derwen farm and fields heading North.  This time, we will not attempt to go anywhere near this farm and will use the minor roads around it. We will use field path and minor roads as far as Llysfaen where we can pick up the North Wales Path back to the cars.
Wednesday 28th November 2018.
Hope Mountain, Waun-y-llyn and Wood Pit.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Coed Talon Car Park by the old chapel. Grid ref: SJ268588. To get to the car park, approach Coed Talon from Pontybodkin on the A5104. At the Railway Inn, just past the speed camera) turn left along Tir y Ffron lane, signposted "Country Park". The small car park is on the right.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book " Walks Around Ruabon Mountain, The Clywedog Valley and Hope Mountain". He describes the walks as exploring the attractive countryside between Coed Talon, Llanfynydd, Herob and Ffrith.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Ramshaw Rocks and The Roaches 17th November 2018.

The Roaches from the path on the South side leading to Well Farm.
The Southern end of Ramshaw Rocks.
Ramshaw Rocks.

 Our lunch spot near Hazel Barrow.
Looking towards The Roaches from our lunch spot.
A Common kestrel near Shawside.
Dog-like rock formation on The Roaches.
At the trig point on The Roaches.
On the ridge path across the The Roaches.
Doxey Pool on The Roaches.
Ramshaw Rocks from The Roaches.
Hen Cloud from the West.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.6 miles. Climb: 2308' wind assisted on the GPS, in reality about 1200'.
Time:  hours 43 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia, Mike and Jim.
The weather today was on the cool side, but out of the wind and in the sunshine it was very pleasant. Distant views were good, but thee was always an air of mist that threatened to clear, but never did.
The wind at at times, particularly as we crossed the The Roaches was too strong for comfort and cold enough to make wearing gloves  necessity.
 Crossing Ramshaw Rocks we only saw a few walkers and rock climbers, but on The Roaches we were never in doubt as to the popularity of this area.
 On this occasion we decided to follow the road from Hazel Barrow past Shawside to Roach End and in so doing avoid the more boggy route near Black Brook.
 Not many birds seen today, although we did get good views of a Common kestrel near Shawside and displaying Ravens near Doxey Pool on the Roaches.
 The surprise of the day was seeing how much damage had been caused by wild fires across The Roaches and areas where walkers are now requested to avoid to enable it to recover.
 Overall a very enjoyable walk capped by a superb pint of Whim Ales, Hartington Bitter in the Wilkes Head in Leek, but I wouldn't expect anything less from my favourite beer.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Wepre Park and More 14th November 2018

Wepre Brook in Wepre Park.
Sandstone outcrop in Wepre Park.
Ewloe Castle.
Wepre Park from iside Ewloe Castle.
Autumn is here with many fallen leaves on the path.
Trying to avoid the mud.
Trying to avoid getting wet feet on the path approaching Aston Hill Farm.
Lunch at Northop Hall War Memorial.
St Mary's church at Northop Hall.
The old railway track through Broadoak Wood.
On the old railway track through Broadoak Wood.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.0 miles. Climb: 710'.
Time: 4 hours 36 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Roger, Celia, Mike and Wendy.
A good day for walking, dry, cool at first but warming up as the day progressed.
 Plenty of fallen leaves on the path reminding us that Autumn is well on the way, but many of the trees in the Wepre Brook  valley hadn't started to change colour.
 As usual we visited Ewloe Castle, and on this occasion some of us climbed the steps to the top section inside the castle. Although railings were present, it still didn't seem a very safe place to be, a good reason for most of the group to remain on firm ground at the bottom.
  Before lunch we had to cross several fields used by cattle an inevitably we had to go through sections that were very muddy, an experience not very high on our list of "must do this again". On the path heading North east from Castle Hill Farm, we had good views over the industrial heartland of Flintshire and beyond towards the Dee Eastuary.
 having had our fill of walking across fields, we decided to approach Northop Hall along Magazine Lane.
 Lunch was taken at the Northop Hall War Memorial where two benches had been placed. This war memorial had several silhouette figures representing all of the forces involved in conflicts since WW1.
 After lunch we decided to head straight back to the Wepre Park along the dismantled railway track through Broadoak Wood.
 Not many bird seen today, but those we did included: common blackbird Wood nuthatch, Blue tit, House sparrow, Herring gull, Black headed gull, Jackdaw, Rook and Carrion crow.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Fox and Grapes at Hawarden, where weetwood's Cheshire Cat went down well.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The Ceirog Trail East of Pontricket 10th November 2018

The Afon Ceiriog at Pontricket.
 Returning Saturday walkers.
Autumnal colours on the forest edge,
Looking towards Foel Rhiwalas.
On the path heading for Pontricket.
Look in toward Ponricket.

Ravens displaying, but by a useless photographer!
The way to the start of the walk.
Walk stats: &.7 miles Climb: 1210',
Time: 3 hours 56 minutes. On the move walk average: 2.4 m.p,h, Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike, Celia and Jim. ( The most on a Saturday walk for some time).
 We arrived at the start and it was still raining, not that hat we were expecting. Unusual when it comes to rain, Celia encouraged us to put o or gear and set off/.
  Thankfully we did and we probably had less than an hour of rain all day! Disant views today were minimal, but all around us the Autumnal were displayed. other birds included
  It was very windy as we arrived at our expected lunch spot, so we took a bridle path heading Borth west towards Pen-y- Gwely.
 We did find a shelter spot , not with a a view, but otherwise everyone was happy.
 After lunch it was in the main, a gentle  descent imo the Ceiriog valley.
  Birds seen today were very few and far between, except for the four dispaylimg Ravens near the end of our walk,
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the we at the Hand in Chirk, the only ale real ale brews on offer was one from the  Salopian brewery,
 Overall a good day out and  my boots took about 10 minutes to clean when I got home!